Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Christmas Bauble

by April Ironside

The Christmas Bauble is one of the most popular festive decorations that many families use to help embellish their homes with at this time of year.  Everyone seems so familiar with them, but do they actually know where they originate from or why we have them?

The first decade of the 1800s introduced the Christmas tree decorations which included eatables as fruit – specifically apples and nuts. The reason that these were used for decoration was simply because that is what grew on trees.  Also, the fruits symbolised the regeneration of life which would happen when leading into spring.  After this, other fruits began to be suspended from the branches of trees, along with paper streamers.

As the tradition of Christmas trees and ornaments became more widespread, each country added their own contributions to the decorations.  In the UK, ornaments of paper and small gifts began to appear in small hollows of branches in trees or became suspended by a piece of thread.  Some countries got so into embellishing their trees, it was sometimes hard to see the tree underneath.

Later in the 1880s, lots of German glass firms began to produce glass ornaments which soon grew to meet with the huge demand for this popular item.  After only selling within their country for a few years, Germany went on to trade these Christmas ornaments – now in all shapes and sizes like glass toys and animals – to the world market and was, for a great number of years, the major world source of glass ornaments.  Countries soon caught on the ornament craze and began to mass produce these decorations in shops and supermarkets that we know today.

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